D.L. Moody wisely said, “The Bible was not given for our information but for our transformation.” In order for the Bible to transform our lives, it must be in our lives.
I am inviting my church family and others who want to join me to read through the Bible chronologically via the YouVersion App Bible reading plan. Gain a better understanding of the order of biblical events and the historic context in which they unfolded. The One Year ® Chronological Bible gives readers a fresh look at the Bible. With the full text divided into 365 portions for daily reading it allows readers the opportunity to read through the Bible in one year.
￼“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.”
One of the highlights of the year for me is revival meetings. There is something very special about gathering together with other believers to sing, pray, be challenged by God‘s Word through preaching and to seek God for personal and corporate revival. I have found that not all believers see the need nor will take the time to engage in revival meetings.
Some wonder, “Why a revival meeting?” Don’t we already have enough to do in life? True! There is a lot on our calendars. We are busy. Home, work, sports, friends all have space on our calendars and then there are our devices that deceptively suck hours of our time out of our days. Some will say in frustration and excuse, “I just don’t have any time this week for revival, Pastor!” May I have a moment to challenge your thinking.
Ephesians 5:16 tells us “Redeeming the time because the days are evil.” Paul was encouraging believers, who lived in days that were against God, to buy back time from being wasted on temporal pursuits and invest it in what was truly, eternally important. More important than anything else in our lives, is our walk with God and that walk being revived (reset or refreshed…whatever the need). Who you are with God is more important than who you are with your family, your coworkers and your friends. Your walk with God is more important than any program, than any project or pursuit. When we walk with God as we ought, we are the best spouse, the best employee, the best friend and the best child. Everything flows from my walk with God. Perhaps that is why Solomon challenged his son to “Keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life.“ (Proverbs 4:23)
Make the time by setting aside things that are not as eternally important as your walk with God. If a few Facebook friends don’t get a like from you, will that really matter in eternity? If you miss a ball game, your favorite TV show or your child misses a sport practice, will it matter in eternity? If you miss some sleep in order to gather with other believers to be under the preaching of the Word, will you regret that in eternity?
No one has time, we all have to make time for what is truly important. Our walk with God and the preaching of God’s Word for revival is truly important.
At the age of seventeen I told Jesus that my life was His to use, and I am so glad I did! I am continually amazed and humbled that God would call me to serve Him. My ministry verse is 1 Timothy 1:12“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.” I praise the Lord that when He does the calling, He also does the enabling! When I finished college, my desire was receive further training and mentoring as an assistant before I took a senior pastorate, but God had other plans. In 2007, my wife and I got married and God closed the doors on two assistant pastorate positions and led me to minister at Grace Baptist Church in Kettering, OH while I worked a secular full-time job. Over the years, I wanted to seek a pastorate position, but God kept closing other doors and opening them at Grace. In 2009 I was hired as a part-time assistant, then a full-time assistant in 2012. After our pastor retired in September of this year, I was both humbled and thrilled when the church voted me in as their senior pastor. As I think about the future and the new ministry that God has given me, I want to share some reasons that I am excited to pastor Grace Baptist Church.
A Dream Come True—When I yielded to Jesus as a teenager, He began to change my desires. I used to want to be in law enforcement. God began to change my desires as I followed His leading. As I entered Bible college, the greatest desire of my heart was to be a pastor. I realized that God had a lot of work to do in me before He could work through me as a pastor, but the desire was still there and growing. I like how Paul said it in 1 Timothy 3:1 “This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.” God has granted me that desire and I praise Him for it.
A Great Church—Grace Baptist Church has been a part of the Kettering, Ohio community since 1983. It is an established church with a heart for missions and it’s community. I am constantly blessed as I watch members following God’s direction in their lives and seeking to serve Him faithfully. I truly believe that the brightest days of Grace Baptist Church are still ahead.
Pastoral Longevity—Many pastors come into situations where there has been multiple short-term pastorates. The people are unsettled because they don’t know if the next pastor will stay long enough to get to know him. I am so thankful that this is not the case here. I will only be the third pastor at Grace in thirty-two years. Pastor James Baker pastored Grace for about 21 years, and Pastor Robert Shaw pastored for 1o years. God used both to establish good direction for this ministry, and I look forward to following their legacy of longevity.
Unity of Heart—I hear of many churches that have no harmony. Petty matters are disputed between members and a general tension is felt in the body. I could not be more grateful of the unity that is present at Grace. I fully realize that this is a work of the Holy Spirit as the members yield to Him. To the members of Grace Baptist Church, thank you for allowing this to be true of you.
Established Direction—The desire of Grace Baptist Church as a whole is to lovingly stand for Jesus in the midst of a crumbling world. I am grateful that our direction in doctrine and purpose remains firmly set. The Bible is not viewed as a book we judge, but rather the book that judges us.
Courageous Men—There is an epidemic in society today of men who will not lead. I praise the Lord for the men of Grace Baptist Church, ones who are striving to live an holy life before God, to lead their families toward God and to serve in ministry for God. I look forward to partnering in the ministry with men such as these.
Spirit of Excellence—If it is worth doing, it is worth doing right. Praise God that is the heart of this church. Lets not go half-way for Jesus, lets give Him 110%.
A Heart to Follow—Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1 “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” Over and over I have seen the people of Grace Baptist Church live this verse out in there lives. What a privilege to pastor a group of believers with this heart!
Attentiveness to Preaching—God promises to bless the preached Word of God. I believe that preaching must have the priority in every service. I am thankful that Grace realizes the importance of preaching, and week after week people gather opening their hearts and Bibles to hear God’s Word preached.
Clear Purpose—I tend to be a focused individual. Give me a goal and motivate me towards that goal, and it is hard to stop. When I look at the city of Kettering and the many spiritual needs represented, I see much work to do. More people need to be introduced to Jesus. I do not believe that God placed Grace Baptist Church or me in this city by accident. I do not believe that 5 years from now we or our community should still be the same. I firmly believe that we must team together to impact every person for Jesus Christ. This will only happen as we impact the person that God brings into our life today. With Jesus coming any day now, there is much to do, and I desire to be found faithful at His coming.
Grace Baptist Church, I am thrilled to have been called to be your pastor and look forward to many more years of serving Jesus together. I ask for your prayers, specifically for God’s wisdom and strength. Thank you for allowing me the greatest privilege of my life!
This past Monday, our church was able begin phase one of our Auditorium Enhancement project. For over a year we have been praying about and raising funds. It is so exciting to see a fresh, new look taking shape. I would like to praise the Lord in several specific ways in regards to this project.
Jesus is the Motivation
It may seem obvious, but I want to praise the Lord that Jesus is the reason and the motivation behind this project. Jesus is the reason we exist as a church, He is the one whom we serve and the one whom we desire to magnify in every venture we undertake.
Believers with a Heart for God
Praise the Lord for believers who have had a heart for God and a willingness to sacrifice, giving of their time and finances. I am thankful for those who have prayed. I am grateful for the spirit of unity that the Holy Spirit has given to God’s people.
Wisdom from God
Many have co-labored on this project to this point with a heart to be guided by God’s wisdom. Praise God for wisdom for each step of the way! God’s wisdom allows all of us to carry out His will and to exercise our gifts in a skillful manner.
May God continue to guide and use Grace Baptist Church to impact Kettering and our world for Jesus Christ.
Without reservation I can say that Men’s Retreat 2014 was the best retreat I have seen at Grace Baptist Church. There was an excellent spirit in the men and a desire for God’s Word. Despite the winter temperatures and weather, the attendance was fabulous. Here are some of the reasons for a great retreat this past weekend.
God’s Presence—We prayed and prepared for this retreat and God blessed us with His unmistakable presence. As the Word was preached I sensed that God was deeply working in our hearts as men. He helped us identify the challenges that we as men face in these days and how to overcome them. He showed us that we can live holy lives in an unholy world. He taught us how to walk in victory day by day. He led us to prayer for strength to be the men, husbands and fathers that we ought to be. It was awesome to see God work in my heart and in the hearts of our men in specific areas.
Great Preaching—God promises to bless and use the preaching of the Word. We were blessed to have Pastor Dan Mawson, Senior Pastor at Victory Baptist Church in West Chester, PA, as our retreat speaker. His heart for God and enthusiastic preaching was a blessing.
Good Music—There is nothing like a group of men singing praises to God. It is bold, heart felt and glorious. I love singing and was certainly moved by this year’s music. It was a blessing to sing songs of salvation, heaven, victory and praise. We sang that encouraging song I’m on the Winning Side reminding us that the Devil is a defeated foe and we stand with our God on the winning side. The men sang this song for the Sunday Morning Service as a testimony to our Lord.
Godly Fellowship—Men are bombarded with the influence of the world on a daily basis and are often wearied with its temptations. The godly fellowship found at Men’s Retreat was refreshing and encouraging.
If you missed Men’s Retreat 2014, I would encourage your to listen to the messages here and then make plans to attend next year, January 30-31 with Pastor Marc Monte. You will be glad you did! Until then, seek to be faithful to the Lord, to your wife, your family, and your church. The Devil is not playing games and neither should we. Let’s be men for God that make a difference by being different.